Can you believe I actually shopped at a Wal-Mart yesterday?
That is love.PC Ran Amok
'Silent Night': Carolers Told to Stop
Thursday, December 14, 2006
12-14) 19:21 PST Riverside, Calif. (AP) --
A high school choir was asked to stop singing Christmas carols during an ice skating show featuring Olympic medalist Sasha Cohen out of concern the skater would be offended because she's Jewish.
A city staff member, accompanied by a police officer, approached the Rubidoux High School Madrigals at the Riverside Outdoor Ice Skating Rink just as they launched into "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" and requested that the troupe stop singing, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Thursday.
Cohen, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist and 2006 U.S. National Champion, had just finished her performance at the rink on the downtown pedestrian mall, and was signing autographs.
Choir director Staci Della-Rocco said she complied with the request "because a policeman told me to stop. I didn't want to have a big old huge scene in front of my kids," according to the newspaper.
The city staff member, special-events employee Michelle Baldwin, could not be reached for comment. City Development Director Belinda J. Graham confirmed the incident.
"This request was simply made by a staff member who was attempting to be sensitive to the celebrity guest, without considering the wider implications ... or consulting with her supervisor for guidance," Graham said in an e-mail to the newspaper.
Mayor Ron Loveridge called the incident "unfortunate."
"You kind of wish people do a little checking first. You certainly have my apology," he said, referring to the choir members.
A spokeswoman with the New York-based PR firm that helped promote the event said Cohen did not make the request to silence the singers.
I wonder if anyone is going to mention just how badly the 1st amendment of the carolers were violated in this.
Even better yet, I wonder when the ACLU is going to step in and cry foul.
Yeah...I am not holding my breath eitherBut hey...I can cut them some slack, after all, they do have more important things to attend to
Teacher in Crack Over Butt Art
By KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
(12-13) 15:02 PST Richmond, Va. (AP) --
To hear the students tell it, Stephen Murmer is a fun, popular art teacher who is always quick to crack a joke. But there is another side to Murmer. A side that has agitated school officials and resulted in his suspension. A side that focuses, almost entirely, on the crack in his backside.
Outside of class and under an alter ego, the self-proclaimed "butt-printing artist" creates floral and abstract art by plastering his posterior and genitals with paint and pressing them against canvas. His cheeky creations sell for hundreds of dollars.
This has not gone over well with Chesterfield County school officials, who placed Murmer on administrative leave from his job at Monacan High School.
Murmer contacted the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia after he was suspended on Friday, ACLU legal director Rebecca Glenberg said. He told Glenberg that administrators had suspended him with pay for five days because of his work as a butt-print painter and that he also could face unpaid suspension pending an investigation.
Murmer has been instructed by the school administration not to speak with the media, Glenberg said. He did not return messages seeking comment Tuesday.
Chesterfield County schools spokeswoman Debra Marlow confirmed that a Monacan art teacher had been placed on administrative leave but declined to provide additional details because it is a personnel issue.
"In the school system, personnel regulations state that teachers are expected to set an example for students through their personal conduct," Marlow said. "Additionally, the Supreme Court has stated that schools must teach by example and that teachers, like parents, are role models."
Murmer went to great lengths to keep his work life separate from his activities as an artist, said ACLU executive director Kent Willis. As a butt-printing artist, he goes by the name "Stan Murmur," and appears in disguise in photographs and videos promoting his art.
"As a public employee, he has constitutional rights, and he certainly has the right to engage in private legal activities protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution," Willis said.
A nearly naked Murmer expressed concern about remaining incognito during a 2003 appearance on the now-canceled cable television talk show, "Unscrewed With Martin Sargent." In a clip from the show, available on YouTube.com, Murmer dons a fake nose and glasses, a towel on his head, a black thong — and nothing else.
"I'm certainly proud of the ass painting," Murmer said in response to questions about his disguise. "I do have a real job where I do have real clients and I don't think they'd be too understanding if I was also the guy who painted with my ass."
That video has made the rounds at Monacan High, where the mere mention of Murmer's name was enough to elicit grins from students Tuesday. Most appeared to be firmly behind their teacher, describing his suspension as "stupid,""ignorant" and "kinda retarded."
"Everyone has been talking about it," senior Heather Thompson said with a laugh as she and other students streamed out of school.
Thompson, who worked with Murmer in the school's art club, said many students have known about his paintings for a few years, but the YouTube clip recently got everyone buzzing. She and other students described Murmer as a funny, likable and popular teacher. There is little support among the student body for his suspension, she said.
"It was simply him expressing himself and his art, and it had nothing to do with school — he wasn't advertising," she said.
This is not the first time Murmer has faced potential problems because of his extracurricular activities. Three years ago, he contacted the ACLU after he was told school administrators were unhappy about his paintings, Willis said. The issue eventually blew over with no suspension issued, Willis said. It was unclear why administrators decided to take action now.
Owning a piece of Murmer's art doesn't come cheap. On his Web site, his creations run upward of $900. His most popular piece, "Tulip Butts," goes for $600.
So how does one become a butt-printing artist? On his Web site, Murmur said his journey began a few years ago when he was told to find an organic item to use as a stamp for a class painting assignment. He decided to use his posterior. His final product was a hit with the class and a butt painter was born.
He was, however, the only student not asked to hold up his organic stamp.
These are the people who are teaching our children for the future folks.
Arent you proud of our public education system?Of course, this is what we are up against:
Boy Calls 911 49 Times From Texas School
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
(11-22) 15:06 PST Round Rock, Texas (AP) --
Police in this Austin suburb were stumped for hours by the 49 emergency calls that kept coming in from an unregistered cell phone. The caller would say nothing before hanging up, sometimes after a brief giggle. Eventually, though, police found their man, er child: a 7-year-old calling from his elementary school classroom just for kicks.
"He was just doing it for fun because he had a cell phone," said Eric Poteet, spokesman for the Round Rock police "The only number that would work was 911."
The phone had been deactivated. Because the phone had no account attached to it during the Nov. 14 calling spree, dispatchers couldn't pinpoint where the calls came from. Instead, they used cell phone relay towers to define an approximate area, Poteet said.
During one of the calls, dispatchers heard classroom chatter in the background and decided to check out the elementary school. Once they found the boy, the officers confiscated the phone and called his parents, Poteet said.
Although making silent or abusive calls to 911 is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, the boy was not charged because of his age, Poteet said.
I am all for not charging him, but how about his parents who should have instilled common sense in their little boy? At the very least they should be charged what it cost to send uniformed officers out to a school to track down their boy.
Ah well...the future of america...you gotta love it
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